I just read this article
from edweek that discusses President Obama's educational intitiatives. Certainly merit-based pay is something many of us dedicated, motivated educators get excited about, but I think the devil is in the details here...Of course I want to make more money and have my work recognized, but I have trouble seeing how this type of program would work. What criteria will be used to evaluate teachers? Who will decide whether teachers are meeting these criteria? I would think teacher observations would have to be part of any evaluation process. Would time-on-task be a criteria? Would student attention be a criteria? Certainly teachers with difficult to reach students will be handicapped when it comes to meeting some of these criteria. There are wide range of teaching styles and effective strategies for reaching students.
I would like to start a discussion with teachers and administrators to see what we all define "good teaching" as. As teachers we are comfortable making rubrics. What would a rubric for assessing effective teaching look like? Please send me your ideas.